It’s no secret that the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting are not willing to grieve in submission. The shooting was a tragedy beyond compare for every student, but it seemed to revolutionize many teenagers. They have become advocates for gun control. Students took to Twitter and created rallies, suggested forms of protest and fiercely held their ground for the purpose of inciting gun control. In the wake of the tragedy, most survivors are spending their time coming together in solidarity to plan what exactly to do next.
On Feb. 20, less than a week after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by a shooter with a semiautomatic rifle, Florida lawmakers denied a motion to vote on a proposed ban on assault rifles. Survivors of the shooting were present when the motion was voted upon. The motion failed to pass with a 71-36 margin. According to Florida’s Spectrum 13 News, the motion failed to pass because “almost every Republican voted no.”
This motion is the ultimate disrespect. The Parkland shooter, who had previously been reported to the FBI for threats of shooting students, somehow was able to legally purchase an assault weapon. The Parkland shooting is a prime example of how overly-lax gun regulation leads to tragedy. The Parkland massacre killed Florida’s children and revolutionized the rest. In the span of a day, the students of Douglas High School were forced to abandon their childhood and were forever scarred. Instead of hunkering down and healing, a privilege they ought to be allowed to have, these teenagers have bolstered their ranks, and fearlessly advocate for gun reform. Despite this, Floridian Republicans seem more concerned with voting along party lines rather than give retribution to the survivors. Every lawmaker who voted against the motion is despicable. I urge Floridian residents to remember lawmakers who voted against the motion when mid-term elections roll around.
Although there was a legislative setback to gun reform today, I remain hopeful. Let it here be said that the teenagers of today will revolutionize for the change of tomorrow. We are here to force lawmakers to absorb all the shock of our realities. We are here to hold them accountable for the every pang of fear we experience when news of a school shooting hits the news. We are here for change and we are here to stay.